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's -- he succeeded pope john paul ii who was extremely popular and who reigned for over 20 years and did extensive amounts of traveling endured especially by young -- endeared especially by young people and there was an assassination attempt on him and he forgave the person who wanted it three to -- who wanted to try to shoot hill. it's been an interesting reign for the pope. it's just about to end. >> they say many at the vatican were stunned by the news he was resigning. there were others who saw it as a sign of humility and humanity, a fact that he was being rationle that he didn't feel he would -- rational, that he didn't feel he would do the job anymore. >> and there were concerns that he couldn't deal with some of the scandals that started to rock the catholic church. he just maintained it was for his health and purely humble reasons that he wanted to step down and step april side. once again, a -- aside. once again a beautiful picture from the helipad. which i guess you don't see very often outside of the vatican, outside of the walls of vatican. >> as we watch these live picture,
by pope john paul ii. now, pope benedict told vatican cardinals that he didn't have the strength to go on. people we spoke to this morning said all of the other popes except one have died in office. why couldn't he? but others were sympathetic. >> i was listening to the catholic radio station and they were saying he wanted to resign even before. right now, he feels this is it. so god bless him. >> reporter: the 85-year-old ally last day of pope will be february 28th. the last time the pope resigned was nearly 600 years ago, when pope gregory xii stepped down in an effort to end the civil war within the church. pope benedict xvi was born in 1927 as joseph ratzinger. he served in the army but deserted and was eventually captured by americans and then released. his decision sets the stage for a new pope to be elected before the end of march. the san francisco archdiocese just opened about a minute ago. we are hoping to speak to someone from there and get reaction on this event. >> all right. tara, you can get more information about the surprise resignation announcement about the pope by goin
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